Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned the 2014 Ballon d'Or winner for the second successive year.

The Real Madrid forward saw off the challenges of Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as he was named the best player on the planet for the third time in his career at a ceremony in Zurich.

"I would like to thank all of those who voted for me, my president, my coach and Real Madrid," Ronaldo said. "It has been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy at the end of it is something incredibly unique."

Colombia's James Rodriguez picked up the Puskas Award for the best goal of 2014 for his extraordinary effort against Uruguay in the World Cup, while Germany manager Joachim Low scooped the manager's award.

Ronaldo, 29, celebrated Copa del Rey and Champions League success during his exhilarating 2014, where he scored 52 goals in 43 games during the calendar year.

The former Manchester United great struck one of those in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid as his side claimed La Decima, an unprecedented 10th European success.

The Portugal international's year was littered with personal accolades and broken records. In April, he broke the record for most goals in a single Champions League season – jointly held by himself and Messi – when he struck his 15th and 16th against Bayern Munich 4-0 semi-final victory, before going one better in the final.

The following season in November, Ronaldo broke a record that had stood for 79 years in scoring his 17th goal in the opening 10 games of the league campaign, surpassing Isidro Langara's 1935 record of 16 in 10.

A month later, he shattered La Liga's long-standing hat-trick record when he hit his 23rd for the club in what was just his 178th appearance for the club against Celta Vigo.